CHINAYOUREN BlockedWritten by Julen Madariaga on June 29th, 2009
So guess what now: I am blocked.
I am banned, prohibited, harmonized, river-crabbed. Censored, in short, by the Great FireWall of China. If you are reading my blog now and have not noticed anything strange, it is because either:
1- You are reading the blog from outside China and therefore you are not going through the GFW (Chinayouren is hosted outside China, you are on the same side of the Wall). Or else, 2- You are reading this from mainland China and you are using some means to connect anonymously and pass through the wall. Most probably a web proxy or VPN, which is what I am using now.
So, just to get this clear: my website works normally, there is no change at all in the blog itself, since the server is out of the reach of Chinese authorities. The only thing that is happening here is that the GFW is preventing users in China to access my domain. You can read more on how this works here.
I knew this was bound to happen some day, and I though it would be funny, and it would make me proud in a way, because not every blog is important enough to be censored. But no, it is not funny at all. Although I can easily connect and write using my VPN, the 50% of my readers that are based in China can not (actually they can, but they will not bother, I know this very well because I have been in that situation before and I also got lazy with blocked blogs).
There is an added point that makes the GFW censorship extremely annoying: it does not officially exist.This means that there is nowhere I can go to complain, and if I do find my way to the relevant government office, nobody will admit to having blocked my content. And what is worse, I have no idea of how long it will last, which makes it very difficult to find a solution. Because if I spend the time and money to move to a different host, I have no guarantee that I won’t be blocked there the very same week. Or worse still, that the censors decide to unblock my original site just when I had paid the fee for the new host.